From the altfriday5:
1. What makes you feel as if where you live is your "home", rather than just somewhere to stay?
All my stuff is here. More than that, all my stuff is arranged in a manner which is pleasing to me, and I know where it all is. I plan to be here for a long time, and I like that idea.
2. How "homey" does your current abode feel to you?
Pretty homey. I am dissatisfied with five things:
1. It gets really hot upstairs.
2. Downstairs is not laid out well for entertaining.
3. People using the pool are sometimes noisy, as are people at the school next door during the school year.
4. No backyard; dogs not allowed.
5. The gate is irritating when we want people to visit or deliver things.
Other than that, it's great. It definitely feels like home. We're not here permanently, but we are here indefinitely; we are probably not moving out until we're actually buying a place. I don't think we could find a rental we'd be happier with.
3. What would your dream home be like?
There are lots of things I would like, most of which are incompatible with at least one other thing I'd like.
What sounds nice right now is some kind of semi-shared housing. Maybe a row of townhomes or estate full of cottages, filled with people I like, and some indoor and outdoor space designated as a community area for hanging out in when one feels sociable. I miss the lounge in the dorm at TAMS, although pretty much every other aspect of dorm life irritates me. Things that are better community resources than personal possessions (for me): swimming pool, motor vehicles of various sizes, outdoor space that requires maintenance (decorative plantings, lawns), large party areas, community supported agriculture subscription. Things that are better personal possessions (some can and should be duplicated in community area, but I hate having to share): kitchens, bathrooms, personal study/office space, bedrooms, dressing areas. I don't actually expect to get this, because it requires way more planning than pretty much anyone I know is really up for, but it would be nice in a theoretical wistful sort of way. So, for single-family dream home:
I would like some gardening space, but I am not competent to be Head Gardener. I would like to share with someone who actually knows how to grow stuff, who can tell me what needs to be done when and provide company while doing it.
I want a fenced area for a hypothetical dog to run around in when I can't manage to take it on a walk, but I don't want to mow because I hate mowing lawns. On that note, I want a teeny-tiny front yard/garden area so that it takes minimal effort to keep it looking nice. The back yard can be big, because people won't see that, so I can keep it as scruffy as I'd like.
Two mostly-incompatible desires:
1. Goats & chickens. (Requires being pretty far out of town, takes time every day.)
2. Satisfying full-time work. (Probably helpful to be more or less in town, could involve travel.)
I note that these can be combined much more easily if other people are helping with the goats & chickens, which is another point in favor of cooperative living. Andres is not fond of goats or chickens (or dogs, for that matter, but I would expect him to grow fond of a dog eventually, where the same would likely not be true for chickens [nor sure about goats; I'll ask when he gets home]), so is not a useful helper in this context.
I don't want a particularly big house, if it is only going to house me and andres_s_p_b and hypothetical offspring, but I would really like a guest room and some good big space that's laid out well for entertaining. And lots and lots of storage everywhere, with doors.
Also I want one of these Buckminster Fuller bathrooms. Maybe a little bigger than the one in the diagram, and I'm flexible about the plumbing, but the no-corners thing is fabulous. I also want solar and/or wind power, and/or vegetation on the roof. And really spectacularly good insulation (yes, even in the Bay Area). And I want it designed so that breezes go through it properly, keeping the interior at the proper summer temperature without needing tons of fans or air conditioning, and so that this can be shut up properly in winter so it's not drafty.
I also want a fireplace (well... maybe not in the Bay Area).
I want all the downstairs flooring to be hardwood or tile or stone or something else non-carpet, for ease of cleaning, especially for ease of cleaning pet stuff.
I want stairs. I really like the separation they give here between public space (living room, kitchen, etc. for parties) and private space (bedroom and study).
I want Andres to have his own study/office area, with a door that shuts, that I never, ever have to go into. (He keeps his desk messy enough that I find it visually obnoxious, and would rather not look at it.) However, I like being able to turn around and poke him to look at something I've found browsing the web, or being able to read over his shoulder when he finds something funny. I think the solution here is laptops.
And of course I would own this thing, free and clear, and the property taxes, utility costs, maintenance, and other miscellaneous expenses would be as close to zero as is possible.
4. What would your nightmare home be like?
Squalid, dark, cold, and inconveniently located. Things would break all the time, it would be too expensive, and the neighbors would hate us and each other. It would be shared with roommates of odious personal habits, loud and horrible musical tastes, and no sense of privacy whatsoever.
5. Of all the places you have lived in your life, where did you feel most "at home"?
Here. I was attached to the house I grew up in, but that was strictly the house and the backyard. I didn't feel like the city at large was really home. Here, I have lovely home-feelings for (parts of) several cities in multiple directions. I haven't even been here any appreciable length of time, but this is it, can't get me away, will dig fingernails into ground to avoid being pulled elsewhere.